That You May Believe
Dr. F. J. May and Dr. H. Lynn Stone
Section III – The Lord Reigns Through His Passion (John 18-21)
Lecture 11, THE LORD AND THE LIFE WHICH IS GIVEN BY HIM
Let us note again John's explanation as to why He wrote the fourth Gospel under
the anointing of the Holy Spirit. "And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of
his disciples, which are not written in this book: but these are written, that ye might
believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing YE MIGHT HAVE
LIFE THROUGH HIS NAME" (John 20:31, 31). In this lecture we will note: (1) the
object of our faith; (2) the means of our faith; (3) the eternal consequences of not
believing; (4) the immediate results of belief; and, (5) the eternal rewards of faith.
A. The Object of Our Faith
1. We Must Believe the Scriptures and the Words of Jesus
When the Jews asked Jesus for a sign he said, "Destroy this temple, and in three
days I will raise it up" (John 2:19), speaking of "the temple of his body." John explains,
"When therefore he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said
this unto them; and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had said" (John
When Jesus spoke to the woman at the well he said to her, "Woman, believe me!"
(John 4:21). Later, John explains, many of the Samaritans "believed because of his own
word; and said unto the woman, Now we believe, not because of thy saying: for we have
heard him ourselves" (John 4:41, 42).
When the nobleman came to Jesus, "Jesus saidith unto them, Go thy way; thy son
liveth. And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his
way" (John 4:50).
Jesus pointed out to the Pharisees that if they did not believe the Scriptures (John
5:39), then neither would they believe Him. "For had ye believed Moses, ye would have
believed me: for he wrote of me. But if ye believe not his writings, how shall ye believe
my words?" (John 5:46, 47).
2. Reasons Why Some Do Not Believe
In the fifth and twelfth chapters John list five reasons why some do not believe in
a. They do not have His Word abiding within (John 5:38).
b. They "will" to "not come" to him (John 5:4).
c. They receive honor one from another (John 5:44).
d. They did not believe Moses (John 5:45-47).
e. Their hearts were hardened and eyes blinded (John 12:36-43).
3. We Must Believe Jesus Is the Christ, the Son of the Living God
In the sixth chapter John explains that "many of his disciples went back, and
walked no more with him" (John 6:65). When Jesus asked the disciples, "Will ye also go
away?" Peter replied, "Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the Living God" (John
B. The Means of Our Faith (How Do We Believe?)
1. We Believe Through the Witness of Others
In opening his gospel John rises to a tremendous height of inspiration as He
marvelously describes the eternal deity of the LOGOS Word of God, in whom "was life;
and the life was the light of the world" (John 1:1-5). But then abruptly he says, "There
was a man sent from God, whose name was John. The same came for a witness, to bear
witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe" (vv. 6, 7).
John is careful to point out that, "He was not that Light, but was sent to bear
witness of that Light" (v. 8). Then just as abruptly he returns to describe, "the true Light,
which lighteth every man that cometh into the world" (v. 9).
So here we see that God has chosen witnesses to testify of His Son. If we choose
not to believe these witnesses, then in effect we are choosing not to believe the One of
Whom the witnesses testify. But faith comes as we open our hearts to the testimony of
those witnesses whom God has chosen to testify of the glory of His only begotten Son.
2. We Believe Through the Word
When the Jews persecuted Jesus because He had healed the lame man at the pool
of Bethesda on the sabbath He plainly said to them, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He
that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall
not come into condemnation: but is passed from death unto life" (John 5:29).
As He ministered in private to the Disciples in the upper room He said to them,
"Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am
(he)" (John 13:19).
In His intercessory prayer on the night He was betrayed the Lord prayed to the
Father, "For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have
received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed
that thou didst send me" (John 17:8). Later in the same prayer He said, "Neither pray I for
these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word" (v. 20).
John explicitly explains in the key verse for this lecture, "But these are written
that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing ye might
have life through his name" (John 20:31).
C. The Eternal Consequences of Unbelief
1. Jesus' Explanation of Condemnation (John 3:17-20)
a. Christ did not come to condemn. "For God sent not his Son into the world to
condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on
him is not condemned" (v. 17, 18a).
b. Unbelief brings condemnation. "But he that believeth not is condemned
already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God" (v.
c. Their condemnation is because they love the darkness of sin. "And this is the
condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light,
because their deeds were evil" (v. 19).
d. To do evil is to hate light. "For every one that doeth evil hateth the light,
neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved" (v. 20).
2. The Unbeliever Experiences the Wrath of God
In concluding the third chapter John explains, "He that believeth on the Son hath
everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God
abideth on him" (John 3:36).
The phrase, "he that believeth not" (HO APEITHON, literally, "the disobeying
one"), is a present participle denoting a continual state of being in unbelief or of
disobedience. The phrase, "God abideth on him," (MENEI EP AUTON) is also present
tense. The wrath of God remains upon him as long as he remains in a present state of
unbelief and disobedience.
3. The Unbeliever Will Die In Sin
In His discourse on the light of the world and the ensuing dialogue with the Jews,
the Lord used the divine expression, "I am" (EGO EIMI) nine times (8:12, 16, 18, 23, 24,
27, 58; 9:5).
He explains to them that while they are "from beneath," He is "from above" and
"not of this world" (v. 23). Then He says, "I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in
your sins: for if ye believe not that I am (he), ye shall die in your sins" (v. 24).
4. The Unbeliever Will Be Brought Unto Judgment
However, when the unbeliever dies in his sin that does not mean that is the end of
the matter. Even though one may reject the Word of the Lord in this life, (s)he will yet
face those Words in eternity. "And if any hear my words, and believe not, I judge him
not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and
receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same
shall judge him in the last day" (John 12:47, 48).
D. The Immediate Results of Belief
Throughout his gospel John lists at least ten immediate results in the life of the
person who believes in Jesus Christ.
1. No Condemnation (John 3:18)
"He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is
condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of
2. Passes From Death Unto Life (John 5:24)
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him
that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed
from death unto life."
3. Does the Work of God (John 6:29)
"Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on
him whom he hath sent."
4. Will Never Hunger Nor Thirst (John 6:35)
"And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall
never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst."
5. Receives the Promise of the Holy Spirit (John 7:38, 39)
"He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow
rivers of living water. (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him
should receive; for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet
6. Is Set Free By the Truth (John 8:31, 32)
"Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word,
then are ye my disciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you
7. Become Children of Light (John 12:36; 46)
"While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light." "I
am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in
8. Do Greater Works (John 14:12)
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall
he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my father"
9. Receives the Love of the Father (John 16:27)
"For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed
that I came out from God."
10. Oneness with One Another and with God (John 17:20, 21)
"Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me
through their word; that they all may be one; as thou, Father, are in me, and I in thee, that
they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me."
E. The Eternal Rewards of Faith
1. The Believer Will Receive Everlasting Life
Jesus explained it marvelously to Nicodemus. "And as Moses lifted up the serpent
in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: that whosoever believeth in
him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world that he gave his
only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have
everlasting life" (John 3:14-16).
This term "everlasting" or "eternal life" (DZAN AIONION) is used at least
eighteen times in the Gospel of John as a promise to those who believe in Jesus Christ.
2. The Believer Will Receive A Resurrected Life
But the life of eternity is not simply an eternal continuation of this present life. It
is a new life because it is a resurrected life. Jesus explained this to the Jews in John
All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will
in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but
the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father's will which hath sent me, that
of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at
the last day. And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the
Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at
the last day.
3. The Believer Will Never Die
Even though Jesus would raise Lazarus from the dead He was careful to explain
to Martha that there would come another resurrection in which the believer would never
die (John 11:23-26).
Jesus said unto her, Thy brother shall rise again. Martha saith unto him, I know
that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day. Jesus said unto her, I
am the resurrection, and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead,
yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.
4. Shall Receive Eternal Glory
The believer's life is not simply a transitory existence in this world. Neither is it
only an eternal continuation of the splendors of this world. Rather the believer is assured
that there will be an eternal life of the glory which only the Father can give. It is the glory
which this world cannot ever know. It is the glory of the love of God Himself which He
had with the Son before the worlds were ever formed (John 17:22-26).
And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be made
perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast
loved them, as thou hast loved me. Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast
given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast
given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. 0 righteous
Father, the world hath not known thee: But I have known thee, and these have
known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them that name, and will
declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast love me may be in them, and I in
Section 3, The Lord Reigns Through His Passion, Lecture 11
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